The African Union and African agency in international politics

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This book examines the role of the African Union in relation to African agency in international politics. It examines the manner and extent to which the African Union exercises two forms of agency—shirking and slippage—in its strategic and collaborative partnerships. The author focuses on four major AU partnerships with the European Union, NATO, the United Nations and US AFRICOM. The books examines African agency in each partnership by exploring the politics and dynamics of each partnership in different aspects: the multilevel engagement, institutionalization, resource contribution and disbursement, as well as preference linkage. It specifically does that by examining African ownership and leadership in all of these aspects. The book highlights the role of agency slack as a survival strategy to escape from the AU’s subaltern position in international politics. It designates the partnership with the European Union as emblematic of African agency; while the others exhibit different forms of agency slack. Partnerships with NATO and the United Nations exhibit shirking, while that with the US AFRICOM exhibits slippage.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages233
ISBN (Electronic)9783030878054
ISBN (Print)9783030878047, 9783030878078
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Security Studies
  • African Union
  • African agency
  • African Union and collaborative partnerships
  • African Global Agency in International Relations
  • Africa
  • Africa-China partnership
  • Africa and Strategic International Relationships
  • International Relations and Africa


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